Monday, November 24, 2014

Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton said she has said for years that Montgomery County Public Schools was incorrectly calculating school capacity

Rockville looks at changes to school rules

Rockville eyes changes to help get more money for schools

...The standards guide how the city determines whether potential development projects would overcrowd its schools.

But the standards have failed to either control school growth or draw funding from the county for school projects, Councilman Tom Moore said.

Moore wants the city to follow the county’s guidelines of allowing development that causes enrollment to hit 120 percent of a school’s programmed capacity, rather than Rockville’s standard of 110 percent.

The 110 percent threshold was designed to allow the city to request county money before a school’s enrollment hits 120 percent of capacity, with the money allocated to that school’s cluster more quickly, but it hasn’t worked, he said.

Moore suggested other changes. He wants developers to pay a fee for projects when a school’s enrollment reaches 105 percent to 120 percent of capacity. He wants the city to assess the average of all schools in a cluster rather than each school’s capacity. Also, the city should calculate a project’s impact on enrollment when a developer applies for approval, not when it’s approved, as is done now.

Older residents are moving out of Rockville and being replaced by younger families with schoolchildren, with 85 percent of the city’s enrollment growth coming from existing homes rather than new development, Moore said.

Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton said she has said for years that Montgomery County Public Schools was incorrectly calculating school capacity and that more students would come from existing homes.
But before any changes are made, officials must make sure parents and other stakeholders are aware of them before January’s public hearing...



  1. Moore is in the developers’ pockets and wants to nullify Rockville’s APFO, especially the schools test. To do so would allow for increased density and hyper-development.

    1. When you look at how enrollment has soared even without development in Rockville & G'burg, it's clear the APFOs have not worked. They need to be modified to get development counted by MCPS earlier so proper long-term planning can be done.

    2. There has been plenty of development in Rockville in the past few years. All the housing in Town Square has plenty of kids, school-age ones too, and I'm not aware of any expansion at Beall Elementary to adjust for that. There's also been a fair amount of tear-down-and-rebuild in my East Rockville neighborhood with families with kids moving in in the past couple years, with more new homes under construction now and more in the process of being "flipped." By the time any new schools get built/older schools get reonvated in these clusters (Rockville and Richard Montgomery both serve different parts of Rockville City), these kids will be way past elementary age.

      I had to laugh at "proper long-term planning," though - the rebuilt College Garden was what, 2 years old before they had to bring in portables? Someone needed to have been slapped upside the head for that failure to plan adequately. There's the push to turn English Manor into an alternative center while just a few blocks away, Barnsley has its own city of portables...

  2. At Anonymous November 24, 2014 at 8:52 PM (i.e. Tom Moore), All you have to do is listen to the testimony of former Council Member John Hall, former and current WECA Presidents, Noreen Bryan and Susan Prince, WECA Vice President, Vicki McMullen, Joe Jordan and the dozens of outraged Rockville citizens that will testify at the hurried Public Hearing on January 5, 2015 for EVERYONE to understand the fallacy and corrupt motivations of your proposal to neuter Rockville’s APFO. It is the only thing that has kept Rockville schools from hyper-overcapacity. How much did JBG, et al promise to contribute to your campaign???

    1. Oh and I forgot... Read former Mayor Larry Giammo's blog refuting Moore's APFO "proposal" at:


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